Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The "He's How Old?" Card {Free Cut File}

Guys, I made a mistake on this card. You probably can't tell. But the 2... it should be a 3. 

Do you remember the Happy Turtle Birthday Card I made a few weeks ago? Well the birthday of my best high school girlfriend's little boy who I made that card for is coming up, as is his older brother's. I hadn't made the oldest brother a card yet, so I looked through my stash and found some fun birthday-themed papers to work with and made the bright birthday card below for his (what I thought) second birthday.
Bright and Sunny Birthday Card with FREE CUT FILE! #MOJO341

But after I finished the card and went to bed, I started running the numbers in my head and realized that "big brother" is turning 3 not 2! I'm not sure how I made that mistake considering "little brother" is turning 1! Oh, well. I'm still loving this card and will just have to save it for a year to send it to lil' bro!

I was working with the Mojo Monday layout design challenge for this card. It was definitely a test of my creativity to get all of the elements of the design into this card, and I'm so happy with how it turned out knowing the work it took to get it all working together!

I wanted to keep the colors really saturated, primary, and bright. I used a paper called Surprise! Pop that had some cute birthday-themed quotes and pictures. I pulled the balloons to use for the square feature image.

I wasn't sure what I wanted to use for the circle. I thought maybe putting a J for his initial, but it seemed like it might compete with the balloons. I decided on the layered number instead and went about making (rather than using someone else's) my own file.

I created circles here for you to download and use in Silhouette Studio (just click on the image). If it doesn't seem like it's working correctly for you in Silhouette Studio, make sure you have CF Jack Story font downloaded on your computer.
Free Silhouette Studio Circle-in-Number Download from It's Always Ruetten

Here's one last look at the layers of the card! Good tip: It's a good idea to always keep your scrap papers. I made the pennants from scrap pieces from other projects! 
Bright and Sunny Birthday Card with FREE Silhouette Studio CUT FILE! #MOJO341

Have you ever made an irreversible mistake on a project? Oh well, it just means that I'll have to make another card for him!

{I party with these blogs!}

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Little Permanence Never Hurt Anyone...

I actually followed up on my plans for the weekend and tackled cleaning and organizing of my apartment (at least a little bit).

As I approach my three year anniversary in my apartment, I find that my decorating style is moving more towards that of permanence rather than... seasonal. I guess I am just picking up on the way my mom decorated our (and currently decorates her) home. Outside of adding a few cute birds for Spring, pumpkins for Fall, and Santa's for Christmas (plus cut flowers... always cut flowers), my mom's decorating is classic and rarely ever dated or out of style. 

Looking back, when I first started decorating my apartment, I would put up decorations for every season and holiday... Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, the 4th of July, Fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Winter... and you know what? That takes a lot of time, space, and money! 

So as I have been putting away my Christmas/Valentine's Day/St. Patrick's Day decor items over the past few weeks (and months), I have decided to move in the direction of my mom (read: adult). More permanent less holiday-y decor. It started with the plate wall in my dining room and has moved into the bookcase wall, also in my dining room.
I knew exactly the direction I was going to move in when, last Monday, at an after-work stop at Michael's I found the white frame (above) on sale for $7.99. It is very Ikea-y (young, modern, fresh) and exactly what I need to fill the space over my bookcase. That space is one of the first things you see when you walk in my apartment (it is just left of being directly in line with my front door); but I haven't really found the right, permanent decor for it.

For a long time I had a framed invitation to the 1984 Reagan inauguration hanging over the bookcase. But after having it up for a while, it became too... heavy, too formal. It will be great for a future office, though, so it is wrapped and packed away!

While I was at Michael's I picked up a few things from their clearance bin, including a black 'J' and glitter clothes pins for only 50 cents per package! I paired them with a cute bunny for Spring and some faux pink peonies, that I can easily change out to match the season (but not go crazy).
I bought two packs of silver glitter clothes pins and two packs of gold glitter clothes pins.
I used the clothes pins for picture holders... and love it!
Glitter Clothes Pin Picture Holders
Here is the transformation of my bookcase area decor:
Paired with my plate wall, I think it looks great! Now... just to finally tackle my dining room table.

{I party with these blogs.}

Monday, April 14, 2014

Raspberry Coffee Cake Muffins

It's no secret that I love raspberries. Last year for my birthday, Morgan even bought me a jar of raspberry jam from our favorite local raspberry patch (which he managed to drop and break the jar before getting it to me). So, when I was contacted by Wyman's of Maine asking if I would like to create a recipe using one of their frozen berry products, I though, "Well, of course I would!"
{I was provided a coupon for a free Wyman's of Maine product, but not compensated any other way. 
The recipe and all opinions expressed in this post are mine.}

The funny thing is, I hadn't heard of Wyman's of Maine before being contacted by them, but the day after I received their e-mail, I opened the freezer at work and a bag of Wyman's frozen strawberries fell on to the floor. I think our partnership was meant to be!

I got to brainstorming and thought about making a raspberry sauce, or Popsicle, but it isn't quite warm enough for Popsicles, and I don't really have a use for a sauce. So it hit me - make a baked good! 

I used my family's go-to coffee cake recipe, but assembled them as muffins and added raspberries! 

Raspberry Coffee Cake Muffins with Wyman's of Maine
Yield 10 Large Muffins

Ingredients: 
For crumble:
1/3 Cup baking mix (like Bisquick, Jiffy, or Pioneer Brand)
1/3 Cup packed brown sugar
1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons cold butter or margarine

For coffee cake:
2 Cups baking mix
2/3 Cup milk
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Egg
1 Cup (or more) frozen Wyman's of Maine raspberries

Cupcake pan and liners (or casserole dish for traditional coffee cake)

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 375°
2. Mix together all of the ingredients for the crumble using a fork to break up the butter or margarine into small pieces - set aside;
3. Mix together all ingredients for the coffee cake, except the raspberries, until well blended;
4. Gently fold in the raspberries;
5. Line the cupcake pan with cupcake liners;
6. Pour a small spoonful of the batter into each liner;
7. Place a small spoonful of crumble on top of each batter;
8. Use the remaining batter to top off each muffin;
9. Sprinkle the remaining crumble on top of each muffin - pressing down to make it stick well;
10. Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, checking periodically until they are firm to the touch (use a knife inserted in the middle of one to test for doneness).
11. Enjoy!
I was really surprised how big and full the frozen raspberries were. I have been eating other brands for years and always find the berries broken into small pieces at the bottom of the bag. I really recommend Wyman's of Maine for any recipes where having full, plump berries is important!

For more berry and coffee cake ideas, check out these recipes from
It's Always Ruetten below:
{I party with these blogs.}

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Three for the Price of One!

Happy Sunday! It's a gorgeous day here in Albuquerque. I bit overcast, but still sunny, breezy, and 75! I could live in weather like this all of the time! Do you remember on Thursday, when I said I would have a card post over the weekend because I couldn't get good pictures taken? Yeah, I pulled it together and have three cards to share with you today!

First ups is a card for the Dynamic Duos #98 Challenge. I went for something really graphic that I haven't used before and then paired it with a simple sentiment.
Yellow & Lavender {heart you} card!
Here is what the challenge called for this week:
Here is the card I was having trouble photographing last week; it's a birthday card for the Freshly Made Sketches #131 challenge. 
Simple birthday card!
The layout was pretty simple, so it was fun to run with it and make a layered birthday card.

This next card reminds me of my sister. She loves to bake cupcakes and is a collector of all things strawberry. I made it a sentiment-free card so it can be for celebration or birthday or... just about anything!
Light purple happy card!
The layout was a great one to work with:
I hope you are having a great weekend!